The plaintiffs in this case were three middle-aged women who alleged that they were sexually abused by a plastic surgeon with whom they treated. The defense did not deny that the sexual relationships between the patients and the plastic surgeon occurred but, rather, claimed that the sex was fully consensual and it was not illegal at the time for a non-psychiatrist to have sex with patients and, in fact, such a civil case was prohibited by the California anti-seduction statute which states that somebody cannot be sued for seducing another. Further, the defendant’s insurance company, relying on sexual act exclusions, refused to contribute to the settlement.
At the time that the law offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, entered the case, the total offer to the three plaintiffs was $50,000. By establishing that the defendant was negligent in various non-sexual aspects of his treatment of the patients, and by proving that a transference existed between the doctor and his patients very similar to transference that occurs in psychiatric relationships which left the patients vulnerable and unable to consent to a sexual relationship, the plaintiffs were able to achieve a satisfactory settlement.
RESULT: Settlement on behalf of plaintiffs for $350,000